"The mourning of Christ"
A Roman catholic priest from Padua, Italy, will be stripped of his priesthood for a string of sexual offenses. In Picture: The newly restored Giotto fresco "The mourning of Christ" is seen at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua March 18, 2002. Reuters/Stefano Rellandin

A Roman catholic priest from Padua, Italy, will be stripped of his priesthood for a string of sexual offenses. He will be defrocked, among other things, on charges of organizing orgies on church property.

Accused of breaking his vows of celibacy, the 48-year-old priest known as Don Andrea Contin has been accused of having as many as 30 lovers whom he would frequently take to a naturist swingers’ resort in France, besides allegedly being in possession of pornographic home videos which were concealed in covers that had names of various popes.

He has also been accused of persistently carrying a “briefcase full of vibrators, sex toys, masks and bondage equipment,” according to one of his accusers who said so in her police statement. She also said that Contin encouraged her to have sex with a horse and also beat her on two occasions. Contin is also accused of prostituting his lovers through swinger websites, according to The Times.

Padua’s bishop, Claudio Cipolla, said he intended to strip Contin of his priesthood, regardless of the outcome of the investigation that is being carried out by the local police.

"I am incredulous and pained by the accusations… even if, at the end of this affair, there are no legal consequences, we have a duty by canon law to take disciplinary action," Cipolla told a press conference, the Local reported.

Investigations against Contin began in December after three women came forward with allegations. Although he denied the allegations at first, he later confessed to the police after they found video evidence upon searching his home.

Don Cavazzana, another priest who also confessed taking part in the parties and even filming them several times, may not be charged with abetting Contin. He also may not be suspended from his priesthood status as Bishop Cipolla said the church didn't have "sufficient elements" to arrive at a decision on his future and claiming that it was "a different case" because Cavazzana's "involvement was only partial and occasional — though not acceptable for a priest".